What is important when hiring a criminal defense attorney?
First you want to hire an expert in the field of criminal law. Expertise is invaluable. You want to look for the length of time that they have been an attorney. You want to see if this is what they specialize in… which means that they will be keeping up with the case law and they will understand the dynamics that are involved in the motion to suppress.
The second thing you want to see is courtroom experience. You want to make sure you hire someone who has tried cases – someone is comfortable in the courtroom. You want someone who has been around the individuals in the courtroom – the judge, the prosecutors – someone who has dealt with them before. That way, you are able to understand what is coming before it actually happens.
And then the most important part is you have to be able to trust your attorney. At the end of the day, you will have to make the decision as to whether or not you want to enter a plea of guilty or if you want to take the case to trial. You want to make sure that your attorney is providing you with the adequate information you need to make that informed decision.
What area of law do you specialize?
People ask me what I specialize in… I specialize in major crimes and violent crimes. I spent 12 years in the Greene County prosecutor’s office and when I left, I was head of the Major Crimes Unit. We dealt with all of the assaults and most of the homicides. During that time, I got a lot of trial experience in dealing with those homicides and assaults and I learned that I really enjoy being in front of a court. I really enjoy being in front of a jury.
Jury trials are complicated. But when you are dealing with a jury trial on a serious assault or a homicide, it is astronomically complicated and complex. I will tell you that when dealing with a jury trial, you have to know from the very start to the very end what you are doing – from the picking of the jury to the opening statements to the questioning witnesses through the closing statements. Then, obviously asking the jury to come back with a finding of “not guilty.”
I have the expertise to deal with trials from a criminal defense perspective. That expertise is something that is needed by my clients. I can use the expertise that I have honed over 14 years to provide them with great representation of serious criminal cases.
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